Fly life cycle

The life cycle of a fly is very similar to most insects in general. There are four distinct stages in the fly life cycle, these includes:

  • Egg
  • Larvae
  • Pupa
  • Adult fly

Fly life cycle stages explained

Fly life cycle

The life cycle of a fly begins with the egg stage. The house fly eggs are like a tiny grain of rice, small in size (1.2mm), white in colour and only need a day to hatch to the first larval stage.

Where does flies lay their eggs? A female house fly generally lay their eggs on a spot where the larvae can hatch and begin feeding at once. Typically house fly will lay eggs on decayed or decomposed organic material, such as manure or garbage.

How long do flies lay eggs? Each female house fly can lay over 150 eggs in a batch. On average, the female house fly can lay up to 500 eggs within 6 batches during the course of her life, and in the ideal temperature, it will hatch within 8 - 20 hours.

Once the eggs hatch, they come out as limbless white creatures called larvae or also commonly known as a maggot. Maggots are worm-like creatures which would not crawl on great distances from their food source and use a tub as their mouth part to hook on and feed off their food source in order to continually grow.

Maggots develop rapidly and then molt. Molting is when an insect sheds its exoskeleton and grows a new one. Maggots perform this process two more times before the third molt.

Once the maggot enters the pupal stage, they will appear larger and their skin changes into yellow, red, brown or black and no longer look as cylindrical like when they are in the larvae stage. During this stage, flies start to develop wings, legs and the rest of the shape of your average house fly within the course of 3 to 5 days.

Finally, the fly turns into an adult. They will then fly off and find places to feed and, eventually, for a new place to lay eggs and start the process all over again.

How long does a fly life cycle take?

Under optimal conditions (warm temperatures at 25°C or higher), the fly life cycle stages from fertilized egg to adult fly spans take 7 to 10 days. However, under suboptimal conditions, the life cycle may require up to two months to fully grow.  As a result of its quick life cycle, house flies can be a real nuisance around your home or business premises.

Do flies go through complete metamorphosis?

Yes, flies are among other flying insects of the order Diptera (insects with two-wings) such as mosquitoes and midges (or also known as gnats) which undergo a complete metamorphosis by going through four distinct life stages: eggs, larva, pupa and adult fly (as explained above).

How long is lifespan of a fly?

Typically, adult fly lives 15 to 30 days, which means they don't live for long at all. Without food, they survive only about two to three days. However, flies considered as prolific breeders though their lifespan is quite short.

How Rentokil can help to get rid of flies?

Rentokil specialists are well-versed in how to control flies and keep flies away for good. Our fly control service includes:

  • Free survey on your homes or business premises.
  • Elimination of adult flies and the removal of any breeding sites, which could create more problems in the future.
  • Correct identification of fly species.
  • Wide range of effective fly control solutions for homes and business:
    • Homes: treatment may include spraying and baiting
    • Business: treatment may include insect light trap
  • Expert advice on how to prevent future fly infestations.

Contact Rentokil today to discuss how we can help you get rid of flies quickly and efficiently.

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